30 answers

How is your experience with paragard vs. Mirena?

I can't decide on which IUD to use. I really liked the sound of paragard (copper t) because it doesn't use hormones, but my ob/gyn said women had horrible painful long, heavy periods with it as opposed to mirena. Mirena shows many side effects on it's brochure, but i don't know how common they are. I am nursing and really don't want to expose my baby to hormones even though it is progestin and supposedly ok for nursing moms, they still have about 7% serum levels of what the mother gets. Does anyone have either of these IUD's? Do you have any side effects

What can I do next?

Summary

There are many different types of birth control in the market, some moms prefer Mirena, while some prefer Paragard. Consult with your health professional for more details.

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your comments. I still am not totally sure which way to go, but feel good knowing that most people are very happy with their IUDs

Featured Answers

Hi L. B!

I have had the Mirena birth control in since November 2006. At first I did not like it because I was still having the pains and heavy bleeding that it was supposed to get rid of. I can remember having very heavy bleeding and cramping inbetween having it put in and Christmas time of that year. But after a couple of heavy bleeds the bleeding tapered off and now my "periods" are so light that I do not have to wear a pad. Maybe a pantyliner for one day and that is all. I love it because I have been diagnosed with Endometriosis and have bled heavily since college. Other than having some pain or cramping at times (which just may be me and the scarring of the Endometriosis) I am glad that I had the Mirena put in.
Good luck deciding!

Sincerely,
L.

Hi L.- I got the mirena about 5 months ago. I have only had one problem, I have had some major cramping, worse than I ever have before, about a week before I start. According to my doctor that should stop very soon. I personally think it is the way to go. I did a lot of research on it before I decided what to do. Good luck!

When I asked this question, the answers I got were very individual. It's true that the copper t can cause heavier periods, but it doesn't always. Some women love it. I think you just have to try it to find out how/what works for you. It's not an easy answer, but I just don't think you can predict the results. I personally chose to skip the hormones. I decided I would rather deal with menstruation, as I have for 25 years, than do anything that might risk my breastfeeding relationship with both daughters. I also wasn't convinced that Mirena has been on the market long enough to know with certainty that it is safe for mom and baby. Then I didn't get an iud after all because i got kicked off healthwave and I knew I wouldn't have the money to get it removed if I needed to.

More Answers

I had the paragaurd also b/c there were no hormones. After 6 months i had it taken out b/c i had such heavy periods and had heavy spotting between periods...awful. I waited almost 3 years and then my hubby had a vascectomy. That was hard for me because it was so final! But he did great with the procedure. Good luck in what ever you choose.

I have the Mirena and and have been breast feeding for 10 months, with no issues. No real side affects, I had not spotting, no bleeding at all since having the Mirena put in.
I love it...

L., i just did a lot of asking around about mirena, although i can't help you with paragard. from what i heard i wouldn't recommend using mirena while breastfeeding. the answers i got were conflicting, people either raved about it or preached the horrors of it, which probably you'll get similar responses here. but i did read things saying you shouldn't breastfeed on it. someone actually told me i could be giving myself an abortion every month....*sigh*...anyway...i had made the choice to go with mirena until i found out it was $800 and insurance didn't cover any of it, for me. so that was the deciding factor - $20 a month for the pill was a lot easier to 'swallow' (haha, pun intended) for me personally. just my experience. i'm sure you'll get lots of good advice. good luck!

I just two days ago had IMPLANON put in my arm and it's great so far. It has Progestin only (I cannot take Estrogen for medical reasons). I tried Mirena and was traumatized. My doctor could not get it to insert and it got stuck and was terrible. I have had bad luck with all other birth controls and Implanon is fabulous. Ask your doctor about it and see if the progestin is bad for breastfeeding. My gynecologist kinda strayed from the copper IUD's, just fromm past experience she's had a couple women that had bad experiences - she didn't go into detail.

Implanon is a small (about 1") flexible plastic that is put in between your bicep and tricep. Mine did not hurt at all, she gave me a shot to numb it and that's it. I had it two days ago. I have a minimal bruise (from where she put her finger to make sure it was inserted properly) and that's it. It's a little tender nothing serious.

I like it. It doesn't have the weight gain part of depo or anything like that. I would recommend you talk to your doctor about it.

I have only had Mirena for a couple months and I would have to tell you that is going pretty well. I was done breastfeeding when I got it so I didn't really look at that side of it. I will tell you that it was a little painful to have put in...not much worse than cramps. The only complaint that I have is that my Dr. did not explain that I might have continous bleeding/spotting. I spoke to my nurse today and she said some women have it for 3 to 6 months. I look forward to not having it. I can put up with all the spotting for not having to worry about whether or not I remembered to take my pill. Good luck!

I had the mirena put in about 10 weeks post partum. So far, so good and I'm 14 months post partum now and almost done breast-feeding. I had no problems at all continuing to breastfeed obviously. I didn't like the almost continuous spotting for the first 4-5 weeks; however, I have had no period since. Just occasional very light (as in use nothing spotting).

Minera has been the right choice for me. It's the lowest level hormone possible, I have no periods, and I haven't had to buy tampons or bc pills in ages. Statistically, it is more effective than the pill, vasectomy or tubal ligation.

When I asked this question, the answers I got were very individual. It's true that the copper t can cause heavier periods, but it doesn't always. Some women love it. I think you just have to try it to find out how/what works for you. It's not an easy answer, but I just don't think you can predict the results. I personally chose to skip the hormones. I decided I would rather deal with menstruation, as I have for 25 years, than do anything that might risk my breastfeeding relationship with both daughters. I also wasn't convinced that Mirena has been on the market long enough to know with certainty that it is safe for mom and baby. Then I didn't get an iud after all because i got kicked off healthwave and I knew I wouldn't have the money to get it removed if I needed to.

Well, I also have the Mirena. 2 years now. My son was 3 months when it was inserted which is what is recomended. Was not painful at all but probably because I had just had a baby and my body was not back to normal. Two of my sisters had it inserted and both were painful for them but both had it inserted years after their last child. I breast fed my son for six more months and everything was fine. I have not heard anything negative about breast feeding with the Mirena. I spotted for quite awhile, but like almost all the other responders, I don't have periods anymore except maybe a spot every once in a while. I have to tell you though that one of my sisters had a problem with it and they couldn't find it and she had to have a dnc. It was one of those wierd things where it must have fallen out and they did the procedure as a precaution. Anyway, I wanted to tell you all I know. On the point the first responder said about aborting every month, I asked my doctor about the controversial side to an iud. She told me with confidence that there are many ways this little thing works and that there is little to no chance of an egg getting fertilzed and that a partner in her group is actively pro life and is a big advocate for the Mirena. Also, if your insurance pays for it, all you have is a one time payment, mine was my 40 dollar copay and you are done for 5 years. :) I just wanted to share my knowlege about it. I, too, would recomend it to any one in my shoes.

I have the Mirena in and love it. I had light bleeding off and on a lot for the first 5 months but now I don't bleed at all, ever. I have had no problems or side effects and would recommend it to anyone.

I have been using the paragard for almost 3 years, and I love it. I do have heavier periods with it ( which, since my periods are heavy to begin with, can get a little ridiculous), but it's definitely worth it to me to have the heavier periods if it means not having to use anything with hormones. For some reason, I faced some resistance from my doctor about IUDS in general and the Paragard in particular, but never got a clear reason for that resistance. I don't know if it's related to cost or what, but for me, it was covered by insurance and I am really glad I have it. Good luck!
T.

Hi L.- I got the mirena about 5 months ago. I have only had one problem, I have had some major cramping, worse than I ever have before, about a week before I start. According to my doctor that should stop very soon. I personally think it is the way to go. I did a lot of research on it before I decided what to do. Good luck!

I am a nurse at a GYN office but I also have the Mirena IUD. We see women all the time that want the Paragard and after it's inserted they hate it. I may be a little biased because I LOVE my Mirena but from a clinical perspective Mirena has a lot of pro's and Paragard has a lot of con's. Mirena reduces bleeding in most women and some women actually stop having periods and its a super effective way to prevent pregnancy. It's now approved by the FDA to treat menorrhagia (heavy periods). With Paragard most women notice an increase in bleeding amount and cramping (dysmenorrhea) and as with any birth control, they notice unpredictible bleeding for the first 3 to 6 months. Personally I love Mirena for the convience and the reduction in bleeding. If you are prone to heavy or painful periods, Paragard isn't for you.

I have paragard and I don't think the periods are painful per say. They are longer periods and I do have some cramps now when I never had cramps before. I really wanted to get away from hormones though--they make me an emotional wreck--so for me and my hunny, its worth it.
Don't let nursing be your only reason to go paragard though because you should plan on keeping your IUD for at least 3 years but on average 5 (unless you know you want to nurse that long). Its not a short term thing is all I'm saying. You can conceive very easily after its removal though (or so my Dr explained).
Message me if you want, i'll share any advice, or experiences I can. Good luck in your decision.

It is true that an IUD essentially gives an abortion every month (by preventing implantation of fertilized embryos), but so does the pill.

I have heard lots of bad stuff about mirena, but most of the comments below are good, so who knows. While bfing, though, I probably wouldn't go for the hormones.

We opted to have my husband get a procedure instead. This can be more easily reversed should you decide as a couple you want to change your mind... PLUS a Hyst. can be even more damaging on you as a women in our opinion. Emotionally , physically and just sooo much more evasive than his surgery is.

Hi L. B!

I have had the Mirena birth control in since November 2006. At first I did not like it because I was still having the pains and heavy bleeding that it was supposed to get rid of. I can remember having very heavy bleeding and cramping inbetween having it put in and Christmas time of that year. But after a couple of heavy bleeds the bleeding tapered off and now my "periods" are so light that I do not have to wear a pad. Maybe a pantyliner for one day and that is all. I love it because I have been diagnosed with Endometriosis and have bled heavily since college. Other than having some pain or cramping at times (which just may be me and the scarring of the Endometriosis) I am glad that I had the Mirena put in.
Good luck deciding!

Sincerely,
L.

L.,
I am on my second Mirena and I love it, no periods and nothing to remember to take for five years. I have not had any of the side effects. I have had it in since my daughter was eight weeks old, she is now 15 months and I am still breastfeeding. She has not shown any reaction, at least that I can tell. The hormones only effect the endometrium, to thin it out, and do not go too much into the rest of the body (yes it is there, but not like if you were on the pill or what not). This is what causes the little to no period. OK, so maybe that is not the full scientific explanation, but that is how my OB explained it to me. I am one of those that becomes really mean while on the pill, due to the high hormone levels. I recommend it to everyone.

I've had the mirena for almost 2 years and I love it. I haven't had any of the possible side effects, and in the last year have only spotted for less than a day 1-2 times. I'm not sure about the nursing side effects, as I was done nursing by that time.

Hi there,
I have never been on any sort of birth control because all the risks and side effcts.... it scared me even after i had my daughter my husband and i still just used condoms. Anyway i did reseach and you do have to consider every woman is different but with that said I have had the paragard for about a week now. All i can say is love it, no side effects it is completely safe to brestfeed and i know some women said it was really painfull when putting it in. To be honest though they say you are gonna feel a slight cramp and you do but it wasnt any worse than a pelvic exam. My periods havent really changed its still early for me to say but thus far nothing different. I hope this helps but for me paragard was the right choice no hormones, no side effects and I dont mind having a longer period if it does lengthen at any point cause its part of being a girl =( and it beats all the risks

I had the Minera inserted about 4 weeks ago and have no complaints so far. The only thing that is kind of irritating is the spotting, but it is so slight and my dr. said it will taper off. I have had no cramping and my dr. said it was perfectly fine to have while nursing as are some bc pills. Like you, I didn't want to do anything permanent yet. If you have insurance, check with them on the coverage. Ours paid all but $70 which was a small part of the $800 bill. Good luck with your decision!

I can't give you any suggestions on which one to use but I talked to my doctor about getting an IUD (Mirena)and because I am nursing (my baby is nine weeks)she would not do it. She said nursing increases the risk of the IUD perforating (not sure if that's the right word) my uterus because breastfeeding makes your uterus soft. I was told that once I start having periods we could move forward with placing an IUD. You might want to see what if your doctor thinks this could be an issue for you. Good Luck!

L.,

I have mirena and it was pretty easy to put in. I have always taken the pill, but like you I am breast feeding and didn't want the hormones. I will say my doctor warned me there would possibly be bleeding for up to 6 months, then no periods or very light periods there after. I was impanted Sept 19th and I am still bleeding, lightly. It is a pain but there is no cramping or anything. That is just my experience though. Good luck!!

K.

I love Mirena. I got it 8 weeks post partum and breast fed for the whole year. I had no periods with it while I nursed, but have had light(no tampon) periods since I quit nursing. I have had it 3 years and recommend it highly. It is my favorite form of birth control and I have tried several different kinds. Good Luck to you.

I have had the Mirena IUD for about 3 years now and have not had any bad side effects. I stopped having my period after about a year but my freind's went away in a few months. A couple times a year I have a day or two of spotting but no PMS that would normally go along with it.

good morning! i have the mirena and i love it! i know i'm done having kids, 3 boys and 1 girl, but i don't want to go through any kind of procedure. the mirena has given me VERY light to no period at all. it was a little painful when it was inserted but that went away very quickly. i also have a friend who has one and she loves hers as well. i would definitely recommend this i don't know anything about the copper one so i couldn't be any help there. good luck with everything and have a great day!

I have Mirena and love it. My periods have actually been lighter. They last a little longer with spotting, but I haven't had it in very long either. The pain wasn't too bad and they gave me Motrin for it anyway. Honestly if not reminded I would forget all together that I even have the thing. My friend has the copper IUD and her periods have been longer and worse. She's hoping that they will lessen but she's had her IUD in longer than I've had the Mirena in. Here's a little tip no matter which way you go: find a doctor who will insert it during your period. I know it sounds gross, but it goes in much easier. My friend wasn't on hers and actually had to be dilated to get it in. I was on my period and had no issue, not to mention you are already cramping because of the period so it won't be out of place.

I had the Mirena between my two kids and have now had this one for going on three years. I've loved it and had absolutely no negative side effects other than the bleeding/spotting for 4-6 weeks after insertion. After that, like the other women have said, my periods have been reduced to almost nothing. Where before kids I had a few days of very heavy bleeding and cramping each month, now I have about a days worth of spotting. Gotta love that!!

As far as the hormones, I may be wrong on this, as it's been almost six years since I very first discussed Mirena with my Dr., but I seem to remember her saying something along the lines of besides it being such a small amount of hormones involved with the Mirena, the effects stay within your uterus. Instead of as with a pill or a patch or other drugs coursing through your whole body and having more effects on other things, it simply works within your uterus preventing the pregnancy. Like I said, I may be remembering wrong and obviously I'm no doctor, but that kind of makes sense...

I had mirena for about 2 months after I had my son. It was ok at first, I had some slight discomfort, occasional bleeding, light cramping. This was manageable and not so bad. I started getting infections frequently which involved my skin feeling very dry and itchy. I developed a lot of discharge that had a very unappealing scent and I had alot of burning sensations.

I thought I had a yeast infection originally and after using an over the counter medication my symptoms were alleviated but for only two days. They came right back. They then went away for a week and came back again. I was extremely frustrated because my doctor had all but promised that there would be no problems.

My frustration only worsened as my symptoms became much more uncomfortable. I couldn't even have intercourse with my husband because I was so tender and raw. It was awful.

My husband became worried and I was very upset. I was worried I had something seriously wrong and began doing research about these symptoms. It turns out, if you search you will find tons of forums full of women over a very large span of time all reporting symptoms like these. Many had problems much worse than mine. I have no idea why these aren't reported by doctors and I'm sure that Bayer, who makes Mirena, does not want to report it for their own reason.

I strongly strongly advise against using Mirena. Vaginal infections can be extremely frequent and will not go away for a long term period. I was absolutely miserable. The only reason I stress this so much is that I found so so so many instances of this. The warnings I read were much more extreme. You can use google and look it up.

I ended up having it removed and my symptoms all were relieved within a week. I will never use it again.

I have had the paraguard for 6 years and love it. My periods are slightly heavier than on BC pills, but worth it in my opinion because I didn't want any extra hormones... I wanted my body to respond as natural as possible to my birth control (and to my hubby ~ BC Pills really knocked out my sex drive, which has increased tremendously with the hormone free IUD)! Hope this helps your decision ~
B.

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